Benin City may experience outbreak of malaria-NIMET

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*Mashi

The director general of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Prof. Abubakar Mashi, has warned that Benin City and its southern parts are likely to experience high to extreme infestation of mosquitoes throughout the year.

Speaking at the presentation of the 2017 seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP) in Abuja, Mashi explained that mosquito birth and bites is expected to be directly influenced by rainfall, temperature and humidity.

He also said the risk in mosquito population in the northern part of the city is expected to grow with rainy season months.

Conversely, he said areas in the north of Yelwa, Zaria, Bauchi and Yola axis will expect the lowest mosquito population risk occurrence.

“Plasmodium falciparum found in Nigeria is the most dangerous of the malaria parasites. The process of mosquito birth and bites is directly influenced by rainfall, temperature and humidity that give rise to differences in stability of disease transmission and seasonal variations in disease incidence.

“NIMET continue to make malaria forecast to sensitise its citizens and health sector to be better prepared to cope with this deadly disease.

“NIMET hopes to develop partnership with health sector and others involved in malaria control to better its forecast over time through partnerships on data collection on mosquito population and infected population to improve its malaria forecast model,” he said.

Thereafter, he said livestock farmers would have to brace up for the dangers ahead because of warmer-than-normal conditions in the northern parts from January to April this year.

He said the weather condition might lead to water stress and outbreak of heat-related diseases among livestock.

“A heat stress is likely to persist throughout the year. Farmers are advised to arrange for alternative sources of water for their livestock during the period,” said Mashi.

For herders, the director general also said they may be able to take to grazing in the northern parts of the country and may have feed available longer due to higher-than-normal rains in the prevailing year.

“The relevant authorities should also encourage farmers to adopt international best practices in animal husbandry through provision of ranches and fodder for livestock as well as ensuring controlled grazing of animals to reduce clashes among farm owners and herdsmen,” he added.

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